LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky football coach Rich Brooks is eager to see how the team will perform after the Wildcats were drafted into separate squads for Saturday’s Blue/White Game.
“This is about as even a split of the team that we could possibly have,” Brooks said following Friday’s practice. “That’s what should make it, hopefully, an entertaining game as well as a competitive game. The evaluation will be, I think, much more meaningful with this type of game.”
Offensive coordinator Joker Phillips will be head coach of the Blue team and he drafted players for that squad. Defensive coordinator Steve Brown is head coach for the White and he chose for that team. The only requirement in the draft was that the coaches had to make consecutive choices at the same position in order to keep the teams balanced. For example, if Phillips picked a weakside linebacker, then Brown had to make a choice at the same position. Then it became Brown’s turn to select; if he chose a tight end, then Phillips had to pick a tight end.
The Blue and White squads were selected and announced on Thursday and are available at ukathletics.com. The game is slated for Saturday at 1 p.m. at Commonwealth Stadium.
More News from Friday’s Practice: Coach Rich Brooks gave some opinions on the spring season after Friday’s two-hour workout in beautiful weather at the Nutter Training Facility.
“I’m never totally happy, but overall it was pretty good,” Brooks said. “We have some areas that we clearly have to get better going into fall camp, but our depth overall is better than it’s been.
“I’m very encouraged by the secondary. The defense, coverage-wise, is better than it’s ever been, certainly at this stage of the upcoming season. (There is) Depth at tailback and the offensive line. The depth in the defensive line is a little bit of a concern and we need every healthy body we can get at that spot.”
Brooks announced that defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin had surgery on Thursday to remove a calcium deposit from his right femur (thigh bone).
“It will be determined probably in the next six (or) seven weeks what his availability, if any, will be for fall camp,” Brooks said. “At this point, I’m optimistic that he will be (available).”
Lumpkin played in seven games last season as a redshirt freshman, missing five because of the condition that eventually required the surgery. He played very well when available, totaling 18 tackles, two tackles for loss, one quarterback sack, and one fumble recovery.
Keightley, Lyden to be Honored with Helmet Stickers: Kentucky diving coach Mike Lyden and longtime men’s basketball equipment manager Bill Keightley, each of whom passed away recently, will be honored with helmet stickers during the Blue/White Game.
The stickers are black ovals with blue and white lettering – “Mr. Wildcat” in tribute to Keightley and “Iron Mike” in recognition of Lyden. They will be worn on the players’ helmets.
“This is an opportunity for us to remember two long-time members of the UK Athletic Department who meant a lot to a lot of people during their careers,” Coach Rich Brooks said. “Bill Keightley loved football, loved the success we had, loved everything at this University. Coach Lyden was a great guy to be around and very supportive of all the other sports at UK.”
Blue/White Game Information: The Blue/White Game is scheduled for Saturday, April 19, at 1 p.m. at Commonwealth Stadium.
•Admission and parking are free.
•Stadium entrances for the game include gates 3, 4, 9, 10, and 11. Gates open at 11:30 a.m.
•Concession stands and the Nike Team Shops will be open on the stadium concourse.
•Game programs will be on sale for $1, with proceeds benefiting the K-Association letterwinners organization.
•The game will be a radio broadcast on the Big Blue Sports Network, including WLAP (630 on the AM dial) in Lexington.
•Kentucky’s SEC Academic Honor Roll players will be introduced before the game. UK was second in the SEC with 26 players who earned a spot on the 2007 league honor roll.
•Kentucky football alumni will be introduced at halftime.
•Fans may renew their 2008 season tickets at the game, see below.
Season Ticket Renewal Deadline is April 30; Tickets May be Renewed at Blue/White Game: The deadline for renewal of 2008 Kentucky football season tickets is Wed., April 30. Tickets may be renewed on the Internet at ukathletics.com, in-person at the UK Athletics Ticket Office in the Joe Craft Center, or by mail.
Fans also may bring their season-ticket renewals to the Blue/White Spring Game. UK ticket-office personnel will be available to accept renewals from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the ticket booth outside Gate 4 of the stadium.